The e-NABLE community is a distributed collaborative volunteer effort to make upper-limb assistive technology devices available to end users. e-NABLE represents a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to traditional prosthetic care. In order to learn about the attitudes and challenges of stakeholders working in and around e-NABLE, we conducted interviews with 12 volunteers in the e-NABLE movement and 3 clinicians. We found that volunteers derive a rich set of benefits from this form of altruistic activity; that both volunteers and clinicians recognize that end users benefit from aesthetic customization and personal choice in device selection; and that volunteers and clinicians bring separate, but potentially complementary, skills to bear on the processes of device provision. Based on these findings, we outline potential ways for volunteers and clinicians to optimize their talents and knowledge around the end goal of increased positive patient outcomes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Artificial arms--Design and construction--Public opinion; Three-dimensional printing--Public opinion; Voluntarism--Public opinion; Volunteers--Attitudes; Physicians--Attitudes

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Human-Computer Interaction (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)


Daniel Ashbrook

Advisor/Committee Member

Deborah Gears

Advisor/Committee Member

Jon Schull


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes